Stop Seismic Testing off California Coast

Target: Chair of the California Energy Commission, Robert B. Weisenmiller

Goal: Prevent seismic testing in the Diablo Canyon area of the California coast

The Diablo Canyon Power Plant rests along the California coast in Avila Beach of San Luis Obispo County. This nuclear plant is threatening much of the region’s offshore wildlife by virtue of reckless underwater seismic testing. This testing is being conducted due to poor initial planning, as the plant was built at the mouth of a coastal canyon in 1968. Improper surveying at the time failed to reveal that this coastal canyon stood directly above a then unknown fault line, the Hosgri Fault. Another previously unknown fault line was recently found to run perpendicular to the Hosgri Fault, running along the shoreline of the region.

In response to these findings, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. plans to utilize seismic testing methods in order to generate a three-dimensional map of the shoreline fault’s deeper regions. This will be done by firing high-energy air guns which are dragged in an array behind a research vessel. Hydrophones placed in the water and geophones on the sea floor are then used to collect data from the sound as it resonates through the water and ocean floor.

While this is effective, and is a far cry from chemical or explosive seismic testing that would have been utilized in the past, it is still far too harmful to oceanic life. This testing has proven to radically alter behavior in cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), who will alter migration and breeding patterns to avoid these sound sources.

This disruption can also impact the feeding of these animals as well as their safety. The inquisitive nature of dolphins makes them especially vulnerable as they have a tendency to approach research vessels, sometimes bringing them directly in front of these air cannons as they are firing. This cannot be allowed. Pacific Gas and Electric must respect the habitats of these oceanic mammals by cancelling their plans to conduct seismic surveying. These animals should not be punished for the poor placement of their power plant.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chairman Weisenmiller,

Recent findings have put the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in a dubious position. This nuclear power plant rests along the California coast in Avila Beach of San Luis Obispo County. While this makes the power plant’s location picturesque, it also makes it truly vulnerable to tectonic activity. Because of this, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is planning on conducting a reckless program of seismic underwater testing.

This testing stems from poor initial planning, as the plant was built in 1968 at the mouth of a coastal canyon. Improper surveying at the time failed to reveal that this coastal canyon rested directly above a then unknown fault line, the Hosgri Fault. To add to the concern, another previously unknown fault line was recently found to run perpendicular to the Hosgri Fault, this new one running along the shoreline of the region.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co., upon discovering this, began to conduct plans to utilize seismic testing methods in order to generate a three-dimensional map of the shoreline fault’s deeper regions. This process will be done by firing high-energy air guns which are dragged in an array behind a research vessel. Hydrophones placed in the water and geophones on the sea floor are then used to collect data on the sound as it resonates through the water and ocean floor.

This testing has proven to radically alter behavior in cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), causing them to alter migration and breeding patterns to avoid these sound sources. This disruption also impacts the safety of these animals. The inquisitive nature of many dolphin species makes them especially vulnerable as they have a tendency to approach research vessels, sometimes bringing them directly in front of these air cannons as they are firing.

Pacific Gas and Electric must not be allowed to continue with these plans. The habitats of these oceanic mammals must be respected by forcing Pacific Gas and Electric to cancel their plans to conduct seismic surveying. These animals should not be punished for the poor placement of their power plant.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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